Selfi3D installs J55 for personalised figurines

Spanish company Selfi3D, which produces personalised figurines, has invested in a Stratasys J55 3D printer in order to be able to create more realistic models.

Spanish company Selfi3D produces personalised miniature figurines. This image shows a model printed on a powder-based SLS printer on the left, and on the J55 on the right.

The company’s business model is producing lifelike 3D printed models of customers using original 2D photos. In the past it has worked with service bureaux, which has given it some experience with a range of different 3D printers. 

Jorge Martín García, founder and co-CEO of Selfi3D, explained: “We decided that the time was right for us to produce our models in-house. Previously, we were using powder-based SLS colour 3D printing, but the fragility of the material made it very difficult to produce and shape each piece. We would also often have to repaint elements of the figurines by hand, otherwise some of the most intricate details would be lost. We also tried binder jetting technology, but the colors are not vivid enough, and the powder-based materials give the final model a certain porosity that makes it almost impossible to get very small details, such as the eyes, accurately defined.”

He described the J55 as a big improvement, adding: “The 3D printer also gives us a level of reliability and repeatability throughout the printing process, with colour and detail as accurate and consistent as the original 3D CAD model. This is something we consider essential if we’re to have a longstanding successful business and the reason why it was an easy decision to invest.”

Selfi3D has worked with a partner to develop proprietary software to create a 3D head from a single photograph so that there’s no need for people to be 3D-scanned. The idea is that this will allow customers to have models made of their friends as gifts. It’s at the heart of a new business offering called BeHero as Martin explains: “To be able to 3D print a model of someone’s head – the most identifying feature of a person – without them knowing was a giant step forward for our business in getting back the surprise factor.”

He added: “At that stage, we then needed to find a way to 3D print the body, so we came up with a new idea. What if instead of your body, we put the body of your favourite fictional character? Or profession? Or hobby? Or partner? Despite being a completely new offering in our line of work, it also enables us to re-use each body that we design. We were taken aback by the interest and have since shifted our core product from Selfi3D to BeHero.”

He concluded: “We firmly believe that having this technology at our disposal, with the increased quality of our models, will enable us to further develop our BeHero product and reach new customers all over the world – both public and corporate.”

The J55 is a full colour multi-material 3D printer that’s designed for use in offices, and which was introduced earlier this year. You can find more information on it from stratasys.com, and on the Spanish bureau at selfi3d.es and beheroweb.com.


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